All-Star Games: Why do they still exist?
Throughout the past few years the all-star Games in professional sports have lost a significant amount of interest. This has caused many fans, players and managers to debate if they should even exist. Each major sport league has implemented new rules and competitions in order to restore interest. All-star games were originally implemented by Major League Baseball in the 1930’s to allow fans to see players for the first time that played in different conferences. Now with cable and satellite packages the average fan can see these star players at almost any time. These games have clearly lost their allure so the question is why do they still exist?
Yes All Star Games may have become a gimmick; yeah they might not have the same appeal that they once did, and right-e-o athletes probably don’t enjoy attending them as much as they once did. But the fact of the matter is that they still have immense value to each league and it is ridiculous to think that they’re going anywhere in the coming future.
The games are still FUN! People need to stop looking at all the negatives aspects and start considering some of the positives. Even if you don’t think they are interesting there are still many people out there who find it exciting. Obviously every facet of all-star weekend won’t be interesting to every audience; these days the games are focused towards the younger crowd. I remember as a kid I would look forward to gimmick competitions like the slam dunk contest and the home run derby for weeks. Now I still watch to see players from different teams play together; it’s interesting to see rival players developing chemistry throughout the game. The games have aspects built for every type of viewer; I think the league just has to do a better job in pointing it out.
Ultimately these games won’t disappear solely on the fact that they are a good economic investment for both the league and the city that runs it. The games are a great economic opportunity for host city; it allows them to establish the league brand in that city. The people of the city are brought into the all-star game excitement first hand. Having the game in some cities could help the team establish itself within the population. People may gain a sense of civic pride towards the team and it could help turn the non-fan into a casual fan. This is important for teams with dwindling support because it could help them re-establish interest in their product.
This past MLB baseball all-star game in New York was the most successful and profitable in years. It still sold out and that even was after a 50% increase in ticket prices. All of these profits went directly to the MLB. New York was not complaining though Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the event had an economic impact of $191.5 million on the city. Even the Pro Bowl which is known as the biggest disgrace of all the games was very profitable. The Pro Bowl also killed it with television ratings with 12.5 million people tuning in.
The skeptics need to understand that the potential value and opportunity for these games is enormous. The leagues just need to find a way to cash in on some of this potential. I believe that they should limit the amount on the roster. This will help them redefine the word star in all-star. There are so many players selected for the all-star teams it is unbelievable to think that players would believe being selected is an honour. For example the pro bowl should only take one quarterback per team. The game is not overly physical so there is no need to have backups in the game. If there was a freak injury then it would be interesting to see a wide receiver or a line man utilized outside of their position. The bottom line is although the all-star games need some improvement they are here to stay.